Pop Culture Overload: Top 22 Snakes in Popular Culture

We’re still on the lookout for an Egyptian Cobra that escaped the Bronx Zoo last Friday (and has since joined Twitter). So I would like to prepare you for a chance encounter with this sinister yet sensual beast in the only way I know how: rattling off snake references in popular culture.

Movies

We start with movies. Because movies could take up this whole post to be honest. Because movies rock. Do you know who else rocks? Samuel L. Jackson. He played a detective, i think, or a cop? I don’t know, I actually never got around to seeing it, in 2006’s Snakes on a Plane (1) (bonus snake reference to Cobra Starship (2) who provided a song for the film’s soundtrack).

The Kill Bill series centers around the former members of the Deadly Vipers Assassination Squad (3), each with snake-themed code names (Copperhead, California Mountain Snake, Cottonmouth, Sidewinder, and of course, Black Mamba).

My great grandfather always used to say “Remember the Anaconda” (4). He was a big J’Lo fan. Come to think of it, he was an even bigger J’Vo fan.

There was that scene (5) in Road Trip with Tom Green. Unleash the fury!

Snake Plissken aka Kurt Russell tries to escape from the post-apocalyptic prison island of Manhattan in 1981’s Escape from New York (6) .  He did it again in 1996 but this time for West Coast (7) viewers. No word yet on the third film, Escape from the Bronx Zoo.

And lastly, everyone knows of Indian Jones’ Ophidiophobia (8). “Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?” Because the Bronx Zoo is apparently trying out a new open-door policy.

aka he'll give you a nasty case of Ophidiophobia

Television

Nuclear meltdowns aside (too soon?), the town of Springfield doesn’t usually have much to worry about, except the occasional armed robbery/car jacking by Snake (9), who doesn’t get enough credit for his one-liners. “Um, I must have, like, fallen on a bullet, and it like, drove itself into my gut.” BONUS trivia: His full name is Snake Jailbird.

Aurelian Jake Smith, Jr. is a former WWF star best known by his ring name of Jake “The Snake” Roberts (10), and often brought actual snakes into the ring, including a boa constrictor named Damien. He also reportedly de-venomed his pet cobra, Lucifer.

“Snake” (11) was the nickname of Stefan Brogren’s character Archie Simpson on the Canadian TV series Degrassi High, the third iteration of the Degrassi Series. Never seen it. Meh.

Oh, wait! I almost forgot about the Whacking Day (12) episode of The Simpsons. Barry effin White is in it!

Sports

First thing that comes to mind is Jake “The Snake” Plummer (13). Because I am a relatively young mind. I should really be thinking of Oakland Raiders quarterback Kenny “The Snake” Stabler (14).

The Arizona Diamondbacks (15) are named after a rattle snake.

The Arizona Rattlers (16) play Arena Football. Just so you know.

Kobe’s nickname is the Black Mamba (17). “Bryant assigned himself the nickname of “Black Mamba”, citing a desire for his basketball skills to mimic the snake of that name’s ability to “strike with 99% accuracy at maximum speed, in rapid succession.”

More!!

We can’t just dismiss one of the historically great video games, Snake (18).

Also, Cobra Command (19) is of course the fictional organization that nemesizes GI Joe.

The Cobra (20) is a 2010 thriller novel by Frederick Forsyth about the international cocaine trade

“Snake” is a (probably) sexy song (21) off R. Kelly’s fifth studio album, Chocolate, in 2003.

Cobra (22) is the name of a roller coaster in an amusement park in Montreal called LaRonde.

Alright I’m spent. Did I miss anything crucial? Did I miss Harry Potter on purpose? Maybe? Shout out in the comments or on Twitter.com/sayknowtotrivia.

Bristol Palin has gone Bananas – Top 10 Gorilla Suits in Pop Culture

Apparently last night on Dancing with the Stars (Monday, 8PM ET on ABC), Bristol Palin and her dance partner Mark Ballas performed a routine to the theme song of The Monkees, dressed in a Gorilla costume (1). Where else has a gorilla suit made its presence known in pop culture?

Trading Places (2): In the 1983 comedy Trading Places starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd, there is a scene in a train car where Jim Belushi is dressed in head-to-toe gorilla attire for a Halloween party (or maybe just a regular ol’ costume party).

Charles Gemora (3): Hollywood makeup artist Charles Gemora was the original “King of the Gorilla Men” for his roles on screen in a gorilla suit during the 1930s through 50s. He even studied gorillas at the San Diego zoo.

Steve Calvert (4): Old Stevie (as I like to call him) also made a name for himself during the 30s and 40s for his gorilla performances in films such as Bride of the Gorilla, Panther Girl of the Congo, and Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla.

Phoenix Suns Mascot (5): The mascot of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns is simply called The Gorilla. This dude in a gorilla suit first appeared in 1980 and is known for his high flying dunks. He was inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame in 2005.

These people are mean (6): Six days ago in New York, two dudes in gorilla suits (and one in a chicken costume) stole some poor kid’s bike.

Demetri Martin (7): He’s a comedian. And a damn funny one at that. Here he tells us why there’s nothing better than skiing in a gorilla suit.

King Gorilla from the Venture Bros? Or David Byrne circa 1984?

The Venture Bros (8): Is the greatest show on television, by the way. They also had a reference to a gorilla suit in the recent episode “The Diving Bell and the Butter Glider“. The Monarch (arch nemesis and regular annoyance to the Venture family), says that fellow super villain and now cancer-stricken King Gorilla resembles a “gorilla suit with nobody in it wearing David Byrne’s Stop Making Sense Suit”. Lead singer of the Talking Heads, David Byrne, wore an over sized suit for one song during their 1984 concert movie, Stop Making Sense. A photo of Byrne wearing the suit was also featured on some of the promotional items.

Science! (9) More specifically, psychology. And even more specificallier, the one-of-the-ways-your-brain-plays-tricks-on-you phenomenon of inattentional blindness (or perceptual blindness). The most well known study on this topic involved, you guessed it, a gorilla suit:

The best-known study demonstrating inattentional blindness is the Invisible gorilla test, which was conducted by Daniel Simons of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Christopher Chabris of Harvard University. Their study, a contemporized version of earlier studies conducted by Ulric Neisser, asked subjects to watch a short video in which two groups of people (wearing black and white t-shirts) pass a basketball around. The subjects are told to either count the number of passes made by one of the teams or to keep count of bounce passes vs. aerial passes. In different versions of the video a woman walks through the scene carrying an umbrella, or wearing a full gorilla suit.[1] After watching the video the subjects are asked if they saw anything out of the ordinary take place. In most groups, 50% of the subjects did not report seeing the gorilla. Simons interprets this by stating that people are mistaken with regard to how important events will automatically draw their attention away from current tasks or goals. This result indicates that the relationship between what is in one’s visual field and perception is based much more significantly on attention than was previously thought.”

This dude must like Bananas Foster (10): Of course I can’t forget this guy, who watched a neighborhood fire in a gorilla suit, for no apparent reason.

I’m sure I’m only touching the surface here so let me know YOUR favorite gorilla suit moments in the comments. Or shout out on Twitter (@SayKNOWtoTrivia).